Nestlé East and Southern African region have launched a RE-Imagine Tomorrow pilot project in conjunction with Kudoti, a waste tech company. This was done in commemoration of the National Recycling Week and Let’s Do It World Clean-up Day 2021.
Demonstrating that the circular economy is a feasible solution for combating the waste problem in the environment, Nestlé will work with Kudoti and Destination Green to help 100 waste reclaimers to use technology in tracking the amount of waste they collected and also to help them get buyers.
Also, these waste collectors will be trained on how to use this technology and be empowered on how to gainer income. The collectors will receive a monthly stipend through a subsidy from Nestlé
This training will involve business and finance education to further provide the waste reclaimers with a means to boost their earnings as well as the provision of physical items like protective gear. Another element is the purchase of a forklift by Nestlé to promote operations in the future.
This pilot project is an aspect of intervening for the community of Mqantsa, Tembisa. This stage will begin with a focus to increase waste collection through these informal waste reclaimers. Even more important, it will educate the community to always rethink their relationship with waste and try to reduce their own generated waste.
Furthermore, as a sustainable stage, it will bring to life recycling by generating beauty from waste to aid the community. One of this beauty is furniture created from the waste collected.
The aim of this circular economy model is to make use of waste streams as secondary assets to reuse recovered waste and recycle them in order to reduce its negative impact on the environment.
The Nestlé East and Southern Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Director Saint-France Tohlang said that these informal waste reclaimers have a vital role that they play in waste management. There is a need to acknowledge them and look for ways to empower them as they strive to achieve a waste-free future.
In his words “ this pilot project is a part of our broader RE sustainability Initiative which focuses on the pillars of rethink reduce and repurpose”.
He went on to say by working with a technology star-up, waste reclaimers, and recyclers who are the major stakeholders in the waste management sector to enable RE-imagine tomorrow. The desire is that through this project, the partners and the Tembisa community will get to grasp the opportunities that waste can provide.
Inspiring communities to collective actions
The RE initiative inspires the community to RETHINK, REDUCE AND REPURPOSE.
RETHINK encourages the wider society to rethink their relationship as regards the environment. While Nestle is to educate the public on ways to serve the environment via a responsible practice of recycling.
The REDUCE initiative is to bring to light the commitment of Nestle towards reducing its impact on the environment to zero carbon emission by 2030.
Lastly, the REPURPOSE centers on upcycling and reusing materials which are vital in driving home the circular economy.
Tohlang concluded, “ Through this initiative, we hope to drive a paradigm shift by formulating and implementing solutions that will safeguard the environment.”
He hoped that through the RE initiative, they will encourage people across Africa to play a part as they RETHINK, REDUCE and REPURPOSE.